Spain: Health workers protest against health service cuts
29 November 2020: Around 4,000 doctors and nurses marched on the streets of Madrid chanting “less flags and more nurses” demanding a stop to the devastating cuts in public healthcare because of which health workers are struggling to cope with the pandemic. However, the regional government in Madrid denied cutting health services.
Amazon workers stage Black Friday protests around the world demanding better working conditions and pay
27 November 2020: A coalition of unions, human-rights organizations, and environmentalist groups launched a global protest called “Make Amazon Pay” demanding better working conditions, better pay and benefits, an end to union-busting tactics, and a commitment to end Amazon’s contracts with fossil-fuel industries. They also denounced the 150-300 USD holiday bonus cheques as highly inadequate and said that Amazon should collectively bargain with its workers over pay and working conditions instead.
Greece: Strike on 26 Nov to Halt Metro, Tram in Athens against anti-labour legislation
23 November 2020: The Urban Rail Transport workers’ union STASY SA decided to join the call for a 24-hour general strike in Greece on 26 November. They said that they were not going to accept the use of the pandemic as a tool for passing anti-labour legislations which would lead to the abolition of the eight-hour day, unpaid overtime, reduced benefits, additional restrictions on strike action, weakening the possibility for labour disputes, further weakening of the possibilities for signing collective agreements.
Sri Lanka: Government to introduce arbitration to reduce industrial disputes
17 November 2020: The cabinet gave approval for a committee to be appointed to formulate a mechanism to arbitrate industrial disputes in the public sector. The committee, which will be made up of secretaries of relevant ministries and trade union representatives, will use a four-pronged approach of discussion or dialogue, trial, mediation and arbitration to resolve disputes before they escalate into strikes or protests.
USA: California votes for prop 22 exempting gig companies from treating drivers as employees
11 November 2020: California voters passed a ballot measure that exempts gig companies from having to treat their drivers as employees. Proposition 22 (prop 22), authored by Uber, Lyft, Doordash and Instacart, exempts these firms from AB5, a landmark labour law in California that came after years of complaints from driver organizers, which would have forced ride-share and delivery companies to treat drivers as employees instead of contractors. Labour advocates fear that this victory could mark the beginning of similar efforts by such companies across the US. However, they say that gig workers will continue organising against such efforts across the country and may also consider approaching the federal level to bypass such propositions as prop 22.
Switzerland: Referendum to hold corporations liable for violations abroad fails
29 November 2020: People of Switzerland rejected the proposal to hold multinational companies headquartered in the country liable for human rights violations and environmental damage committed by their subsidiaries and in their supply chain.
Wile the proposal won a narrow majority among voters, it failed to get a majority in the states. Under the Swiss system, as this proposal required a constitutional amendment, it required both a popular majority and a majority in the states to be passed. With this failure, the government is now expected to come up with a much milder legislation that will include due diligence, but will not hold Swiss parent companies liable for rights violations and environmental damage that occur in its supply chain.